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Trip Report Two weeks in Athens and Cyclades

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Hi everyone! You all provided so much valuable advice before going to Greece, so I thought I'd write a little report about what I did.

I flew into Athens and stayed in the Monastiraki Square area which was an unbeatable location. Easy walking distance to everything. I mostly spent my two days exploring the ruins all over the city and listening to walking tours compliments of Rick Steves Europe - highly recommend downloading his app!

I then took the ferry to Paros - what a beautiful island! I stayed at the Summer Inn Parikia, and could not recommend it more highly to anyone looking for a place. My first day I went on the Lazy Day with Captain Ben boat cruise around Antiparos and Despotiko. Highly recommend this boat tour or something similar! The day was spent on the boat, with breaks along the way at beaches or to swim in the ocean. Cold drinks and snacks and lunch provided throughout the day. It was not yet busy season, so there were only about a dozen of us on the boat, but I can imagine it gets very crowded in July. The next day I rented an ATV and went all over the island. I went to Santa Maria beach which was empty and the most picturesque beach. Also went to Milos beach, and up to the mountain village of Lefkes, then the fisherman's town of Naoussa, and finally all the way around the island to use up the gas I payed for. The next day I took the boat from Parikia (5 euros) to Antiparos and rented a car there to explore. There is also a bus, but since it wasn't the busy season yet it wasn't running frequently enough to be utilized. I went to the cave of Antiparos - probably the coolest thing I've done in a while. You can go 100 meters deep, and there are huge stalactites, and graffiti from the 17 and 1800s. Then I went to Agios Georgios for lunch, and to the beach there, and then the beach at Syros.

After Paros I went to Naxos, so just a short ferry away. I went up to the mountain villages of Apiranthos, Filoti and Halki, and then to Plaka beach where many people windsurf. I also went to the castro museum, walked around the old town, and took it easy - by this point I needed a little vacation from my vacation.

Santorini was my last stop. It was definitely the most beautiful and picturesque, but probably my least favorite island. It is just so touristy and crowded, and even in mid June I found it a little overwhelming, so I can't imagine the high season - trying to watch the sunset in Oia must be a nightmare! I ate some of the best food in Santorini - Lucky's for gyros, and then dinner at Lotza's in Oia, and Metaxi Mas were amazing. The Santo Winery is worth a visit - how they grow grapes and produce wine is really unique to the island. The red beach and black beach are worth exploring. I also went on a boat cruise to the volcano, then Thirassia, then Amoudi bay. I never rode donkeys, but did walk down to the old port of Fira, which meant walking with them / in their droppings which was not the most pleasant, but I certainly felt bad when it was so hot and humid and these donkeys are lugging tourists up and down steps all day long.

All in all, Greece was beautiful with extremely friendly locals and delicious food. Now I need to plan another trip to explore the mainland!

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